September 17, 2011

Blankets for Ethiopia Update

I am looking at a list of people with numbers by their names. Its a list of guesses and hopes for blankets they think they will be able to gather up for our trip to Ethiopia. My growing circle of people has been so generous.

Then another list of names with numbers. The people on the travel team who can help get the blankets to Ethiopia. They are so willing to give up space for themselves to help in this effort. But the blankets seem so big; the suitcases so small.

In my living room my mom and I fill a gigantic suitcase. We are counting the blankets as we cram them in and soon realize that this suitcase just isn't big enough. We need 15, but thought it would fit more like 20. Each blanket rolled up on the sofa, bags full of blankets laying around on the floor, look forlorn. I feel overwhelmed at the thought of having only two pieces of luggage with which to fill. My mom looks at me as I say, "I think we could get one more in to make it 15."

She shakes her head in wonder and says what I am afraid to mention, "But what about the rest?"

We have help in the other travelers, but will it be enough? Each blanket has a face for me. The face of my two year old nephew, smiling as he holds it up. My friend who gathered a group to make blankets on a living room floor. Ladies at church and many, many people I will never personally meet. They chose these fabrics and handled each blanket with care. Then the faces of the children in Ethiopia flood my mind. Most of them smiling, with runny noses and tattered clothes. They will be thrilled beyond words to get such a special gift from so far away.

I thought I should share our progress in getting together blankets for the Hopechest care points.

I thought about it.

Then I thought about it some more. I really wanted to wait until I could give you a solid number of how many blankets I have in my basement. But, I kept waiting knowing so many people that have blankets they are giving me in the next few weeks or people (like me) who are having parties in the next few weeks.

Today my sister called and said fleece is on sale, but..."do you still need blankets?"

Um, yeah.

Did I mention that the goal of 300 has kind of become 400 hoping to bring blankets to the children at Kechene, a recently sponsored Care Point in the center of Addis?

It's so easy to be overwhelmed when looking around a living room scattered with fleece, a bulging suitcase, a duffle bag, a rubbermaid and this is only the beginning. I tell my mom, "We are just trusting God for this to work."

Then I sit on the edge of the suitcase and we slide one more blanket onto the top.


Anonymous said...

God works in mysterious ways ... last night, I reread your blog from early August, and today I bought fabric for four blankets. I didn't know if you still needed the blankets or not, but I felt moved to do something. When do you need them?

~Susan Harbaugh

Apryl said...

Oh, wonderful!! I'm thrilled to hear from you and glad that I updated today :) I want to try and get them into the right hands within the next few weeks, but don't stress about working quickly! We can always plan for my mom to pack yours.
Such a blessing to hear from you!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Apryl.

I hope this message finds you and yours well! My name is Meggann- I doubt you'd remember me, but my husband & I met you (& your 2 beautiful daughters) at an America World adoption info meeting about 1.5 years ago in Cleveland where you were speaking... Anyway, Steve & I are getting a lot closer to being ready to proceed and we were hoping to hear your thoughts on adopting 2 kids at once versus single child adoption. If you could contact me, maybe via email we could set up a time to phone conference if you wouldn't mind? Our email address is

In advance, thanks! And good luck with the blanket project! My husband & I are working with a non-profit fundraising group for ET orphans, and Love having a way to be able to do something good to help! =)

All the best,
Meggann Fleming Thompson

Ryan & Carly said...

Hi Apryl,
So this is totally unrelated to this post! :) But I was hoping I could email you with an adoption question. My email is Not sure if you still had the same email as before. Thanks! Kiss my little guy in Ethiopia for me! :)

MarksMomma said...

Hi Apryl,
I'm a fellow AWAA Momma (DTE 8/12/2011, so we still have a long wait ahead!). My son and I would love to make a blanket if you tell me where to send it.
Also, have you thought of packing them in vacuum bags before putting them in the suitcases? Those are amazing, and get rid of the bulky fluff. It would make them flat enough that you could probably fit even 30 per suitcase!!!